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Jay-Z, Diddy, Kanye West Top Forbes’ 2011 Hip-Hop Cash Kings List

Jay-Z Diddy Kanye West
Rob Loud / Noel Vasquez / Rob Loud, Getty Images

According to Forbes magazine, Jay-Z, Diddy and Kanye West were making more cheddar within the past year than Kraft Foods.

The three rap titans are among hip-hop’s top earners according to Forbes’ annual Cash Kings List. The business magazine ranked Hov at No. 1 with $37 million thanks to his sold-out ‘Blueprint 3′ tour and his expansive portfolio. Following Jay-Z, at No. 2, is Sean “Diddy” Combs who netted $35 million in the past year with money earned from his partnership with Ciroc vodka. Kanye West lands at No. 3 with $16 million, which came from touring in support of his last album, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.’

The list also boasts plenty of newcomers including Wiz Khalifia who raked in $11 million thanks to his yearlong touring schedule and merchandising at his concert stops. “I’m one of them?” Wiz said when told he was among the ballers on the Cash Kings list. “That’s what’s up!”

Also making her debut on the list is Nick Minaj who finished at No. 15 with $6.5 million. She becomes the first female rapper to ever make the tally thanks to a successful year of touring, a platinum-selling ‘Pink Friday’ album and endorsement deals with M•A•C Cosmetics and Casio.

Undoubtedly, Jay-Z and West will have another big fiscal year with the release of their collaborative project ‘Watch the Throne,’ which is on track to sell at least 400,000 to 500,000 copies in its first week of release in the United States. Not to mention, the rap kings will also embark on a 17-date North American tour in October.

It will be interesting to see who will grab the money throne on Forbes’ list next year.

Cash Kings 2011: Hip-Hop’s Top 20 Earners

1. Jay-Z – $37 million
2. Diddy – $35 million
3. Kanye West – $16 million
4. Lil Wayne (tie) – $15 million
4. Birdman (tie) – $15 million
6. Eminem (tie) – $14 million
6. Dr. Dre (tie) – $14 million
6. Snoop Dogg (tie) – $14 million
9. Akon – $13 million
10. Ludacris – $12 million
11. Wiz Khalifa (tie) – $11 million
11. Drake (tie) – $11 million
13. Pharrell Williams – $10 million
14. Timbaland – $7 million
15. Swizz Beatz (tie) – $6.5 million
15. Nicki Minaj (tie) – $6.5 million
17. Rick Ross (tie) – $6 million
17. 50 Cent (tie) – $6 million
17. Pitbull (tie) – $6 million
20. T-Pain (tie) – $5 million
20. B.o.B (tie) – $5 million

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